Getting Started with Affiliate Marketing: Real-Life Stories

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We’ve been asking Insiders how they got their start in affiliate marketing, and have been blown away by the responses! All paths are different, and offer inspiration for newer affiliates who are looking to dip their toes into the industry. We asked how and why our affiliates got started, how they got up to speed quickly, and what they wish they’d known at the beginning. Here is a sample of our affiliate stories:

"I had been helping others with their blogs and websites, and decided it was time to create a viable business via EPN for myself. After a few (well, quite a few) false starts, I think I nearly have my site ready as I have been relying on social media to drive traffic... this has been a good experience. Admittedly, I am only a month in, yet I have been experimenting and have managed to hit my first monthly target."

-Adrian Cole

"I've been an antiques dealer specializing in Asian Art for over 35 years. We also have a fairly active account on eBay as sellers. We created a site designed specifically to feature only sellers who sell genuine antique Chinese-Japanese-Asian items on eBay. Collectors and dealers began using the site and asking us to feature their listings as well, if they checked out we included them and kept building.

“We then heard about eBay's affiliate program and opted to join at the suggestion of an eBay rep. A few years ago, we added a weekly newsletter page featuring auction format items of merit closing in the next week, as well as a newsfeed and other information. Today, the newsletter is ranked by Google, Yahoo and Bing as number one in the world under our key terms, which seems to draw more and more people each week."

-Peter Combs, bidamount.com

“I got started in affiliate marketing mildly around 2005, then more seriously over the following few years. I had a strong drive to develop a work-at-home self-employment situation, and I could see that affiliate marketing would probably play a central role in that, and it eventually did.

“I'm mostly self-taught, as I would imagine many online marketers are. Ya kinda gotta dive in and figure out a lot on your own.

“If I could whisper some tips to my earlier self, I'd probably focus on following my own insights more, and following the crowd less. When you're new at anything, it's only natural to begin learning based on conventional wisdom. But eventually it can really help to find your own path, disagree on things with some of the popular talking heads, and ‘go deep’ in your various business strategies.”

-Helios825, helios825.org

We’ll continue to share more publisher stories in upcoming blog posts. Do you have a story to share? Let us know in the comments, or join Insiders for more opportunities.